The grunge music scene of the early 1990s is still striking a chord with music lovers and pop culture collectors. One of Kurt Cobain’s smashed guitars has sold for $595,000. The black Fender Stratocaster was sold by Julien’s at their Music Icons auction in New York’s Hard Rock Café on May 19-21, 2023.
The Nirvana frontman smashed the guitar onstage and later reassembled it, though it is unplayable. He busted the guitar around the time of Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind album that was released in 1991.
All three members of Nirvana – Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic – signed the body of the guitar. It features an inscription to Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan that reads, “Hell-o Mark! Love, Your Pal, Kurdt Kobain / Washed up rockstar.” The neck plate has “Boddah Lives” engraved on it as a reference to Cobain’s imaginary childhood friend.
Cobain’s guitars have been selling for incredible prices in music and pop culture auctions. The 1959 Martin D-18E guitar he played on MTV Unplugged sold for $6 million in 2020, and the 1969 Fender Mustang he played in the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video hammered for $4.5 million in 2022.